Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Make Me Wanna Holler

I'm not going to get specific about my morning but it's already been very long and very filled with activities shaped from the womb to be incredibly annoying and soul-abrading.

Okay, one hint: No fewer than two separate organizations developed computer glitches which didn't show my last payment. Only after much sitting on hold (and being disconnected twice from one) was I able to prove that I was in fact not a scofflaw. There were other beatings to my dignity and my patience. It's only eleven o'clock in the morning. I am haunted by the idea that this day has up to twelve more hours of puckishness ahead of it.

The miraculous thing is how equable I was. If I didn't know better, I'd assume Consort doctored my tea with Diazepam. I didn't scream at either company who lost my payments. I didn't scream at every single person this morning who said something stupid -- and let me assure you, apparently today is Say Something Stupid Day because there is no other reason for the abyss of witlessness I've traversed. I kept my counsel. I bit my tongue. I endeavored to see the big picture. My reward is that I've now gotten credit for bills I already paid --which doesn't actually qualify as growth -- and talked to stupid people who still don't know they're stupid (and whom I was more than willing to inform of this fact had I been given the opportunity.)

So here's what I want. I want credit for not screaming. No, better yet, I want a create a holiday for honoring those people who make a slurry of their stomach lining rather than saying what achingly needs to be said. I want people to send me greeting cards that feature pictures of red-faced women methodically pulling the leaves off daisies with comforting captions like If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy float by. I want a sheetcake iced with the words "Congratulations on not killing any member of a large and indifferent bureaucracy". And then I want to eat the sheetcake while watching a The Golden Girls marathon and not have to share the frosting rosettes with anyone.

If you too haven't been given enough credit for the verbal beatings you haven't doled out in this life, please join me in celebrating. Let's declare June 15th National Not Screaming Day. Or better yet, International Not Screaming Day. Why not? They make greeting cards all over the place. If you want, you can leave an email about some recent event where you heartily deserved a good scream but nobly resisted the impulse. We'll all pat your hand and make room on the couch to watch Dorothy and the girls.

But the rosettes are mine.


Blogger The Bug said...

Oh I wish I could join you, but while I don't technically scream, the people on the other end of my waspishness probably wish I WOULD scream & just get it out of my system.

And really, it's good that I can't join the party because we'd be having a fight about the rosettes.

P.S. My word verification is prics. Heh.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Judy S said...

UGH --- I hate being the victim of someone else's error!!!

I just worked my way through a major screw-up that involved not one, but two DMV's! One here in CA and the other clear across the country in MA!

Here's the first part of the saga... http://ordinarybutinteresting.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/their-error-my-stress/
and here's the second part
It all worked out in the end - the biggest surprise being that I still have a tongue left from biting it so hard!

12:11 PM  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

Oh, yes, those days when you spend much time and energy just to end up back where you started from ... like my new glasses (one trip to ophthalmologist, two trips to store to pick out glasses because how glasses look is important, several more to pick them up - okay, the power outage wasn't their fault, more trips to pick up replacement ones I still can't see out of ... now one more trip to return glasses and get my money back).

12:45 PM  
Blogger Mark Moran said...

Me, calling yet again about the tires that have been on order for a month: Hi, this is Mark and I was just wondering if the tires had come in yet.

John: This is John. No one has called to say they came in.

Me: So is there anyone you can check with?

John: No, I just started in this department, but if they don't call, they're not in.

Me: Can I check with another person?

John: There's no one else here. I can't call them. The truck just came in and no one called me, so ...

This marked a cooling point in out relationship.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Sherri said...

Do I get credit even though there wasn't anybody there for me to scream at? I had to buy a long arm stapler recently (why is another whole story that makes me want to scream.) I opened the box, pulled out the stapler, and tried to staple with it. The staple wouldn't come out. I go get the needle nose pliers, pull the staple out, try again. Repeat several times, opening the stapler several times to examine it. Finally, I open the box of staples that I had (fortunately) also purchased, which were the staples specified on the stapler box. Funny thing, these staples were half the size of the staples that came helpfully preloaded in the stapler...

3:48 PM  
Blogger Hillbilly Mom said...

I believe I showed admirable restraint when the WalMart cart boy rammed me with a horizontal stack of 100+ carts.

He saw me all right, through those hanging plastic doodads that separate WalMart air from outside air. But he rammed me anyway.

I took the blow on my right hip, and staggered across the concrete entrance like a drunken elephant. I am not a small woman. Nor am I a spring chicken. I might have emitted an embarrassing grunt as the air whooshed right out of my rattled lungs.

The worst part was the smirk on the greeter's face. Some greeting! That's a fine how-do-you-do for a middle-aged teacher bringing her business to The Devil's Playground. That's my pet name for WalMart.

I should have succumbed to my weak knees, dropped to the ground, and shouted, "Call an ambulance! I think he broke my hip!" With the right lawyer, I might have gotten free Great Value food for life.

5:35 PM  
Blogger StaceyEsq said...

You're so good. I've been known to let customer service reps know they have IQs of room temperature -- doesn't exactly win me friends. And, yes, sedatives definitely help. Lucky you if Consort slips you those . . . my consort doesn't believe in better living in chemistry, but I sure do.

Couldn't I just have a pinky lick of a rosette?

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Lene said...

Today most definitely is for the Stupid. Long, agonizing story that will only make my stomach resume snacking on itself if I repeat it.

I have not screamed, but am plotting an excrutiatingly polite, yet eviscerating email. Does that count as Not Screaming?

6:48 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I handled a work situation I can't really explain without going insane.

I think we should also have a National Stand Up for Yourself day. I have a tendency to bite my tongue and then go to a corner to cry so when the pizza guy was a total bastard the other day, I was proud of myself for telling him to forget it and hang up on him... though I no longer have a place to order pizza. Sob.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Jobi Harrell said...

Although I fully support the idea of 'National Not Screaming Day' I truly feel that today was actually 'Say Something Stupid Day.' Seems as if it was a universal event...

Perhaps June 16 could be reserved for the not screaming at Stupid-Sayers of June 15 that needed a good scream...and then those that don't scream are that much more deserving of celebration.

Did I just out myself as one who was unable to control herself on 'Say Something Stupid Day?'

9:18 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Quinn, you are an actress. I won't even say former, because I believe talent like that does not atrophy. You know, I'm sure, that old cliche about catching more flies with honey.

Well, put all of that together and you've got my method of dealing with people when I want something from them. Just give them your best performance of a sweet grateful person with a problem that you really hope they can help you with.

I'm not a naturally sweet person. And I've worked in customer service. Even as a customer, hearing a brusque rep asking insincerely if s/he can help me sets my short fuse burning faster...it's already burning because of the stupid mistake the company made.

But I take a deep breath and start the act.

As a customer service rep, I actually wanted to help the people who called in with problems. I took pride in the fact that even those who called in mad usually ended up thanking me even when I couldn't solve their problem right away. I quit that job in the middle of a shift because a supervisor wouldn't let me take the time needed to help someone.

But when I have a problem that pisses me off, then get a rep who starts off badly, it sets me off worse than when I was on the other end. Thus, the deep breathing.

The act almost always works. Particularly if I manage to stay with it until the end.

As for telling people how stupid they are, well...I was raised in the South, that level of rudeness is grounds for a public stoning, at the very least. I'm pretty sure my inability to voice that sentiment is wired somehow into my DNA.

But, you know what? There are so many freaking morons walking this Earth, think how much time we'd waste bringing their ignorance to their attention. Really, our time is way too valuable to use in such a manner.

What purpose would it solve, after all? Half of them wouldn't believe us, and most of the other half probably have a vague notion of the truth already. Confirming it probably wouldn't make much of a difference.

So, maybe have a cup of tea, get in the proper frame of mind for your performance and then put it behind you when you're done. If you have to do it more than once in the same day, turn it into a game. See if you can beat your 1st performance. Note: use only herbal tea - caffeine will make things harder for you.

Sometimes, drugs can help, if you have them on hand. If not, vitamin B6 is supposed to have calming properties. As, of course, some herbal teas do.

Also, you can think of it this way: Is it harder than eating a jar egg?

Good luck.

9:55 PM  
Blogger moonbow said...

It's my Birthday, and I'll Scream if I want to
Scream if I want to, Scream if I want to
You would Scream too if it happened to you.
(June 15th is My Birthday)

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Jodi said...

I'm so inspired by you! I wish I could have handled my last telephone confrontation as suavely as you. I just had a screaming match with a man from a credit company. In my defense though, the first time I talked with them I was nice and it's not my credit we're talking about here. They kept calling my house and waking up my 2 month old son (who barely ever sleeps due to health issues) looking for someone who doesn't live here. I called the company back and nicely told them it was the wrong number and they assured me they would take my number off their list. Two weeks later I received another bout of phone calls and so called the company again. When I explained the situation to the operator he hung up on me. Of course that sent me into a rage spiral and I am ashamed to admit that I called back and screamed at another operator until I was connected with a supervisor. I need your cool desperately!

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

If I get one more customer service rep in INDIA who reads "English" from a script, I WILL scream before I hang up. Right now, I just hang up. Holy crap does it piss me off.

5:02 PM  
Blogger lisahgolden said...

I missed it the National Not Screaming Day on the same day I got stung by a bee three times and still did not scream because I had my iPod on too loudly over the mower and couldn't hear myself scream so what's the point?

I'm going to need a bouquet of daisies....

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can i get credit for not throwing anything (specifically French pastry), after my husband looked at his birthday present of a French pastry dessert buffet, and announced he wasn't hungry because he had lunch (with dessert) at 3 pm? because why, after 11 years of marriage, would he possibly think i might have something planned for his birthday dinner?
sigh. (he is normally the best of husbands, but just not yesterday for a few minutes). But nothing was thrown, although part of me was *sorely* tempted.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Robin Raven said...

Great blog entry. I hope that today is much better. Yes, I'm so prolific with my words, but I had to join the chorus if only to say that it was a great read, and I feel the pain right along with you. Can I have a piece of cake, too?

Thanks for sharing. :)

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the fact that I am reading this two days after "No Screaming Day," and also given the fact that I participated in said screaming, I therefore excuse myself from any likeness that may have participated in the festivities. I now have to go scream at someone for having missed sheet cake.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous scarlet! said...

I want you to know that I'm forwarding the crap out of this entry to my friends who are also experiencing the vast wasteland of the witless. It is bringing comfort and joy far and wide.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Jakarta Rocks said...

I am very sad I missed the day - but I definitely deserve a card.

We have 6 months to go in this fustrating, annoying city and if I have to hear from my husband that our staff is not "paid to think" or "that's a small price to pay for not having to do it yourself". I may scream right here and right now.

I have approximately one piece of washing destroyed each month from a. leaving the iron on it for too long.
b. putting washing powder directly onto it without diluting when handwashing special things.
c. ironing writing.

Not only that - but all instructions for every possible job, in the house, outside the house, at work, etc must be given at the start of each month - as they forget after about 5 weeks and start doing things the way they always have (like for instance washing the dishes by using soap and running cold water instead of using soapy hot water and soaking things in it.

When we go to a department store, there are no less than 100 people working on each level. If you go to look at something, at least 3 people follow you within a meter. When you ask for something - without failure the answer is "habis" - which means - none left. Oh, you know this standing here without looking - excellent - let me go and look in this likely cupboard/drawer etc.

Our kids get their faces pinched or their hair touched whenever they go in public - we have a code for hand right...hand left so they can duck and weave. And this is in a muslim country where if I touched when of their children I would be considered incredibly rude.

At elevators and lifts and buses you are run over by the crowd. No one waits in line and everyone pushes. Sometimes it is all I can do to not scream "you are all a bunch of rude bastards" - and don't you worry - I yelled it recently at customs on the way out when my kids were knocked over by a swelling crowd.

It's okay though - westerners are considered - rude and totally devoid of manners. To this I say - exactly - because if we weren't we would still be waiting in line to get through at customs.

I could go on - but lets just say - we are out of here at xmas - and no amount of savings will make me stay another day - I have had enough.

To not scream every day is a miracle. Can't imagine if I was doomed to have to live here forever.

3:03 AM  

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